Monarch Butterfly

Quality Parameters for Home Textiles – A Comprehensive Overview

What defines quality in manufacturing wholesale textiles?

The quality of a product is said to be good if it satisfies specific requirements that make the product serve its purpose to the satisfaction of the customers who would buy it. Depending on the buying demographic, those requirements may include functionality, strength and durability, longevity, size, and appearance. In this blog we will discuss the importance of following the ethical practice of diligent product testing for our wholesale towels, sheets, blankets, and hotel linens.

Bartender using Monarch Brands Bar Mops to clean counter

A bar mop, an inexpensive item for cleaning, has a different buyer demographic than a high-quality plush bath towel; therefore, their quality expectations may differ. Bar mops must be strong and durable, but not as strong and durable as bath towels, which are expected to last and look fresh for a long time.

For example, buyers of high-end towels expect them to score high marks for functionality, durability, softness, size, appearance, and longevity. By contrast, bar mop buyers don’t value appearance or longevity as they will discard cheap bar mops long before they wear out as they are not worth repeated laundering.

How quality is measured

We measure the quality of home textile products through standardized testing protocols set by an organization called ASTM (American Standard Textile Measurement) in North America, which has test parameters set for yarn, finished textile products, and other design elements.

Why is it important to measure the quality of products against set standards?

Checking quality against set standards creates benchmarks that factories must hit to ensure that products are functional, durable, and meet or exceed customer expectations. It also encourages manufacturers to upgrade machinery and hire qualified operators to compete with each other in the industry.

Quality Checkpoints for Home Textiles

Yarn Quality Testing:

  • Twist Per Inch
  • CSP – Count Strength Product
  • Count Uniformity
  • Lea Strength
  • Hairiness

Since we are not buying raw yarn, the vendor must check for all functionality of the yarn they are procuring. Only quality input of raw materials can ensure quality finished output.

Yarn Count Testing:

This requires visual examination; hence, a qualified industry professional with experience to check yarn count.

Finished Product Testing 

  • Product Size and Weight – This is a visual examination and hands-on weighing.
  • Laundering Test: This test checks the dimensional stability of washing and identifies and measures shrinking after three washing and drying cycles. Parameters allowing for shrinkage are set at a maximum of 5% on width and 10% on length.

Differential Shrinkage Testing:

Checks dobby shrinkage against the center of the towel – If the dobby border shrinks too much, the towel will have an undesirable bowed shape. The dobby area shrinks due to a different construction and weave. If it is too heavy, then shrinkage is inevitable. Factories sometimes use pre-shrunk yarn to control dobby shrinkage.

Absorbency Testing

Tests for absorbency efficiency – A towel’s primary purpose is to absorb water. If it does not, the product is not functional. Cotton has the inherent characteristic of absorbing water. Low-quality yarns do not absorb water as effectively as better yarns. Imagine a bath towel that isn’t absorbent!

Group of Cabana Beach Towels - stacked

Whiteness or Colour Shade matching

Tests whiteness and shade-matching –  A qualified Spectro Photometer machine operator will perform this test.

Breaking Strength Testing:

Tests the warp and weft – measures the breaking strength of towels.

Lint Testing:

Measures the amount of lint accumulating on the dryer filter – If the yarn used for making towels is mostly short fibers, then while drying, it will release more lint, which is not a good quality. There is a set parameter for how much lint compared to the weight of the towel is allowed.

Example: A product testing report for our Aston & Arden wholesale towels

Legend:

  • AATCCB – AATCC Gray Scale for Color Change
  • AATCCC – AATCC Gray Scale for Staining
  • AATCCD – AATCC – 9 Step Chromatic Transference Scale
  • 20 AATCC AFU – After 20 Fading (Hours) Units
  • CIE IndexE  – Measured through Spectrophotometer

Consequences of shipping products that do not meet Quality Parameters

  • Customer Dissatisfaction: Products may not perform as expected, leading to unhappy Customers.
  • Brand Reputation: Shipping subpar products can tarnish the Brand’s reputation and trust.
  • Returns and Losses – Poor quality may result in high return rates and financial losses.
  • Legal Issues: Failure to meet industry standards may lead to legal consequences.

In Conclusion: Quality ensures customer satisfaction and brand credibility.

Testing Procedures as per industry standards are vital for validating product quality. In-house and 3rd party testing confirm that the manufacturer has adhered to quality parameters. Rigorous testing at the sourcing stage ensures that products meet and exceed customer expectations.

Tapash Bhattacharjee

Tapash Bhattacharjee, CSCMP
Global Sourcing Director
(215) 482-6100 x321
[email protected]

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